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Open Access The Effect of Two- and Three-Dimensional Cell Culture on the Chondrogenic Potential of Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells After Subcutaneous Transplantation With an Injectable Hydrogel

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Articular cartilage is an avascular tissue composed of chondrocytes, a unique cell type responsible for abundant matrix synthesis and maintenance. When damaged, it never heals spontaneously under physiological circumstances. Therefore, the delivery of mesenchymal stem cells using hydrogel has been considered for cartilage repair. This study aims at investigating the influence of in vitro chondrogenic differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hATSCs) on in vivo cartilage formation when associated with a cellulose-based self-setting hydrogel (Si-HPMC). hATSCs were characterized for their proliferation, surface marker expression, and multipotency. The in vitro chondrogenic potential of hATSCs cultured within Si-HPMC in control or chondrogenic medium was evaluated by measuring COL2A1, ACAN, SOX9, and COMP expression by real-time PCR. Alcian blue and type II collagen staining were also performed. To determine whether in vitro chondrogenically differentiated hATSCs may give rise to cartilage in vivo, cells differentiated as a monolayer or in pellets were finally associated with Si-HPMC and implanted subcutaneously into nude mice. Cartilage formation was assessed histologically by alcian blue and type II collagen staining. Our data demonstrate that hATSCs exhibited proliferation and self-renewal. hATSCs also expressed typical stem cell surface markers and were able to differentiate towards the adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineages. Real-time PCR and histological analysis indicated that Si-HPMC enabled chondrogenic differentiation of hATSCs in inductive medium, as demonstrated by increased expression of chondrogenic markers. In addition, histological analysis of implants showed that chondrogenically differentiated hATSCs (monolayers or pellets) have the ability to form cartilaginous tissue, as indicated by the presence of sulphated glycosaminoglycans and type II collagen. This study therefore suggests that an in vitro induction of hATSCs in 2D was sufficient to obtain cartilaginous tissue formation in vivo. Si-HPMC associated with autologous hATSCs could thus be a significant tool for regenerative medicine in the context of cartilage damage.

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Keywords: Cartilage; Chondrogenic differentiation; Human adipose-derived stem cells (hATSCs); Hydrogel; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale), UMRS 791, Université de Nantes, Laboratoire d’Ingénierie Ostéo-Articulaire et Dentaire, Group STEP “Skeletal tissue Engineering and Physiopathology,” Faculté de chirurgie dentaire, Nantes Cedex 1, France

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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